Shona Foster

Senior Associate - Corporate and Commercial

Shona is a commercial lawyer specialising in helping clients to get ideas, products, and services to market and to respond to change in the business and legal landscape. She has particular expertise in the interface between intellectual property (IP) and technology law.

Shona helps clients to commercialise new concepts, establish new relationships, and respond to change, by preparing and reviewing contracts across the entire value chain. Her expertise includes R&D agreements and IP licences, procurement, supply and distribution agreements, data-sharing agreements, privacy policies, and SaaS and other software licences.

Helping clients to play within the rules is also a big part of Shona’s practice. She regularly advises local and overseas clients on privacy, electronic marketing, data protection and retention, consumer law, fair trading laws, product claims, and label claims.

Shona is a strategic thinker who works with a diverse portfolio of clients across a broad range of sectors and industries, from start-ups to major New Zealand corporates and multi-national corporations. Known for her clear communication and straightforward approach, she is adept at delivering complex advice simply.

Prior to studying law, Shona had management roles in the research and IP commercialisation sector. After graduating from law school, she spent several years in a national IP firm before moving in-house. She has a deep knowledge of the commercialisation, agri-business, deep tech, research, and tertiary education sectors.

Shona is a former Trustee and New Zealand Regional Chair of the Licensing Executives Society of Australia and New Zealand. She is currently a member of Team SODA, a panel of specialists who support the Callaghan-funded incubator SODA Inc, where she shares her specialist business knowledge and experience with businesses wanting to enter the SODA programme.

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Professional background

Recent work

Compliance advice

As senior legal lead, co-ordinating a team of subject-matter experts advising one of New Zealand’s major banks on compliance with the requirements of the Fair Trading Amendment Act 2019 across its business.

Leading a team of specialists advising a multi-national vehicle manufacturer on entry-into-market compliance, to support the roll-out of a new adventure tourism and vehicle rental business in New Zealand, which included road transport and adventure tourism regulation.

Technology, privacy and IP due diligence

Co-ordinating the technology, privacy, and intellectual property due-diligence workstream for the acquisition of online booking technology firm Timely by US-based Evercommerce, a deal in excess of $100 million.

Marketing and consumer advice for therapeutic products

Advising an iconic New Zealand company on marketing and label claims for a suite of new products, including for compliance with the Fair Trading Act and New Zealand’s therapeutic products regulatory regime.

Technology development, licensing, and acquisition

Advising a number of Australasia’s life sciences venture capital firms on the IP aspects of investments in new ventures in New Zealand, including preparing intellectual property licenses and research agreements.

Digital business

Assisting a variety of companies, including start-ups, with their terms and conditions, software-as-a-service (SaaS) agreements, end-user licences (EULAs), data-sharing agreements, privacy policies, and related compliance.


  • 2008, New Zealand


  • LLB (Hons), BSocSc, University of Waikato


  • Member, Licensing Executives Society Australia and New Zealand (LESANZ)
  • Committee Member, Team SODA


  • Brand and Advertising
  • Commercial Law
  • Commercialisation
  • Consumer Protection
  • Copyright
  • Deep Tech
  • Fair Trading
  • Intellectual Property
  • IT Contracts
  • Licensing
  • Patents
  • Privacy and Data Protection
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Software Development
  • Technology


  • Member of MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Tier 1 TMT team (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific)